The smart bug

Nick Dutton, CEO of Brisant-Secure, talks about the ‘smart bug,’ as consumers immerse themselves in a 21st century digital way of living, and how these new product technologies are making our lives easier, irrespective of age.

Five years ago, homeowners, developers and interior designers had to spend £tens-of-thousands to create a smart home. These homes were the domain of the very wealthy and came with bragging rights.

However, as the cost of installation has fallen, so the market has changed. In just a few years, having a connected smart home is achievable for many people, creating a safer, easier lifestyle whatever your budget. GlabalData research says that the smart home market has grown by 18% year on year for the last five years.

What do we mean by a smart home? We don’t just mean home entertainment. We mean a home that has: smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo; thermostats that can optimise energy usage; and home monitoring systems, including video door-bells, motion detectors, window sensors. There are even moisture sensors that detect leaks. It’s possible to fit personal tags to people and pets, so you know who has gone in or out of the house.

While some people will baulk at the big brother image that this creates, many parents, carers for people with dementia, and even dog lovers, will gain so much peace of mind knowing their loved ones are safe, that it is a world that many embrace within their own family units.

Smart homes make growing older easier and safer. It will mean less dependence on care homes, with older people who are tech-savvy able to stay in their own homes for longer, even if their mobility is compromised. At a very basic level, an Amazon Echo will read to you. However, in our house it can also turn on the main lights and the lamps, change the heating, open the electric gate and it can now lock my front door. Getting older has lost some of its terror as the chances of me staying in my own home for as long as possible has become a reality. It makes young families safer, with baby monitors able to link through to all the rooms in the house.

It’s important to understand the speed at which this market is moving. As the industry sells more and makes more profit, the private sector is more able to re-invest and create the next exciting development. (I’m hoping for a smart teas-made – do you remember those from the late 1980’s?). It can also improve on the offerings that are already there, making them smaller, more efficient, more responsive and cheaper to produce. Far from being a world to be feared, it is one that all of us need to embrace as it will make our lives better, safer and calmer.

Brisant-Secure launched into the tech market with Ultion Smart in May 2019 and we have already learned loads. Our experience with businesses that manufacture doors is that they love the ease with which the Ultion Smart can be fitted. There is a myth that smart products will be hard to fit, or cannot be retrospectively fitted, but neither of these are true for Ultion Smart. In fact, its ease has become a major advantage. Brisant now has a challenge where the Brisant team manage to fit and set up a new Ultion Smart within five minutes. Twitter has been hot with photos and videos of people using Ultion Smart. One particularly bright ten-year-old did a fantastic video showing off its features.

Brisant has found that once a homeowner experiences what Ultion Smart can do for them, they want one. The fear of the unknown disappears and people say, “that’s really clever, will it fit on my door?” Many people do not spend their spare time reading gadget magazines and it is human nature to fear something new – especially when the safety and security of their family and belongings could be at risk. When the talk moves to ‘geo-fencing’ many people can glaze over. This is why Brisant has been keen for door showrooms up and down the country to have a sample of Ultion Smart on one of their doors. Not only do the people selling the door realise how simple it is to use, so do the homeowners that walk into the showrooms every day of the week.

One instance of a company understanding the value of this expanding market is Glazerite. The company was looking for a smart door handle, but knew that security was the fundamental issue that they had to address. If there was any concern that the door would not be as secure as a normal door, no amount of smart technology would convince someone to buy it.

However, Jeff Dunn, sales and marketing director of Glazerite, saw that Ultion Smart was the solution. He said: “What has impressed me most about Ultion Smart is the partnership between Brisant and Danalock. I like that the lock offers a range of smart solutions to opening and locking the door, but that it comes with a traditional key as well. That’s still important to our customers.”

Brisant has found that entering this market has not been as nerve wracking or tough as some expect. Our product is simple and it works. It connects to all the other smart products out there, working on multiple platforms, which is a must for anyone looking for a smart lock. It also has a vast range of functionality. It doesn’t just tell you whether your door is locked or unlocked, it actually locks and unlocks the door and it can do so in a range of different ways. It also has usage beyond families. It works for Airbnb giving entry codes, whether that is one-off codes, time specific codes or permanent access. It can open the door for you automatically, when it senses you have entered a certain zone. It will lock automatically on a pre-set time limit.

Gadget magazine Stuff gave Ultion Smart a five-star review for exactly the same reasons that Glazerite chose to offer Ultion Smart. Editor James Day honed-in on two main points that seemed to be the main reasons that it scored so highly. Firstly, it is simple. It is simple to fit as there are no holes to drill or wires to connect. It is simple to set up, pairing it with the app is quick, it works and is feature rich. Secondly, Stuff found the auto-unlock function “entirely reliable”. James put this down to the partnership between a traditional top security company in Brisant and a tech company, bringing the military encrypted Danalock technology to the table.

Brisant managed to create a smart lock, Ultion Smart, that is simple and that homeowners want to own. The other unique feature of Ultion Smart is that it comes with a suited hardware system. Many home monitoring systems are a diverse group of products that are stacked together to create a solution for the homeowner. Many of the homeowners investing in a new door with an Ultion Smart, will obviously want door furniture that matches their handle. Whether that is numbers, letterplates, door knockers and handles, ‘Sweet’ offers the homeowner a number of finishes along with a contemporary design that works in multiple environments.

From the outside, Ultion Smart doors look like regular doors. They give no indication of the vast array of features that the door offers its owner. Brisant can do this as they developed Ultion Smart to complement and bridge its existing products. Ultion lock is proven to be a market leading 3-Star, Sold Secure Diamond lock, and Sweet is the market’s guaranteed pit-free door furniture. The three products work together to give every homeowner a smart home.

Smart homes are here to stay, enabling people to stay safer and for longer in their own homes. With more developments, and as the market expands, there will be more products doing things that we can only guess at for the moment. It’s a train that Brisant is ecstatic to be on and our research and development team is making sure they stay at the forefront of this market, as it makes all of our lives easier.